Automotive chip VS components: About automotive-grade electronic products (part 1)

Automotive Components VS Automotive Chips  

Automotive components are automotive-grade electronic parts used for electronics systems for cars and vehicles. And there are automotive passive components and active components.     automotive chips

While automotive chips or ICs, are automotive-grade integrated circuits that carry extremely highly-dense circuits or passive components on silicon chips. ICs belong to the active components category.

To know more about passive and active components, you can read this article.

What Does Automotive Grade Mean For Electronic Components and Chips

car-scale components and ic

There are four grades of electronics manufacturing: defense/aerospace > automotive > industrial > commercial electronics. If components, chips, PCBs are at the automotive grade, they are manufactured to quite a high level.

To electronic components and chips, the automotive-grade means:

High standards

Automotive-grade passive components should be compliant with AEC Q200, ASILI/ISO 26262 Class B, IATF 16949.

Automotive-grade active components (including automotive chips) should be compliant with AEC Q100, ASILI/ISO 26262 Class B, IATF 16949.

Long lifespan

Cars and vehicles are durable commodities, and their life span is usually designed to be about 15 years or 200K kilometers en route.

So will be the lifespan of automotive components and chips.

Wide operating temperature range

The operating temperature range of commercial electronics is 0℃ to 70℃. Compared to electrical parts for commercial uses, automotive components and chips have higher requirements.

For example, the operating temperature range of components and chips in and around the engine is -40℃ to 150℃. That of components in and around the passenger compartment is -40℃ to 85℃.

Excellent resistance to harsh environments

As cars and vehicles run, automotive components and chips work in a harsh environment, such as vibration, dust, high-temperature, harmful gas, moisture, strike. Therefore, automotive electronics should have a high resistance to these harsh factors.

Quality consistency

Car and vehicle manufacturing is in batch, and automotive hardware quality consistency matters for driving security. The quality of automotive components should be highly consistent so that the automotive manufacturers can make sure of the quality consistency of automotive systems and the whole car/vehicle. For this reason, requirements for the automotive components and chips are based on the PPM (parts per million).

How Many Automotive Chips Does a Car Need

In recent years, the automotive chip shortage has stirred up discussions about automotive chip supply and needs. How many automotive chips are need for manufacturing a car?

A traditional car needs 500 to 600 automotive chips.

An electric car needs about 2,000 automotive chips as it has a large amount of DC-AC inverters, transformers, converters, and these modules lead to an increase of IGBT, MOSFET, diodes and on in a car.

According to a survey, the per number of automotive chips required for manufacturing a car reaches 1000+ in 2021.

However, the supply of automotive components and chips can't meet the increased demand temporarily yet. That's why the delivery delay of new cars is frequently-seen in the whole world.

What Automotive Chips Does a Car/Vehicle Use

Cars and vehicles are becoming smarter and smarter thanks to automotive chips. There are 3 types of automotive chips:

  • Micro control unit (MCU). MCUs are used for the electrical control system, engine, fuel system, information and entertainment system, drive train, autopilot system, etc.
  • Automotive power chips. They are mainly used for the power control system, lighting system, fuel system, etc.
  • Automotive chips for sensors. Automotive sensors such as tire pressure sensors, water temperature sensors, electronic accelerator pedal position sensors are developed and operated based on chips.

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